Over the past two decades, the Jersey City waterfront has seen a huge boom in both residential and commercial development, revealing an entirely new skyline of tall, glassy towers. And now real estate investor Mack-Cali wants to embrace this waterfront location in the way that new large-scale developments are doing in Manhattan (Waterline Square) and Brooklyn (Domino Sugar Factory). The firm’s $75 million plan will piggyback on next month’s opening of a new New York Waterway ferry station there and transform the waterfront promenade in front of their 4.3 million-square-foot Harborside office complex into a “one-of-a-kind cultural district” that will include a beer garden, European-style food hall known as The Marketplace, and the Harborside Atrium, an interconnected series of pedestrian routes and lobbies throughout the buildings that will also serve as cultural event space.
Mack-Cali currently owns the office buildings Harborside 1, 2 and 3, which are the main components of the complex. They were originally built in the 1920s for the Pennsylvania Railroad to have freight storage space. As part of the plan, designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, their facades will be reskinned with new floor-to-ceiling glass and steel to increase natural light and provide better views of the Hudson and NYC. Their industrial past will be echoed in the new Atrium’s “raw, industrial aesthetic,” set to include dark metal finishes that reference the railroads and wood planks that reference shipping piers.
The firm is working SJP Properties who will serve as the project’s development manager. The pair also has proposed a new 1.2 million-square-foot office tower, Harborside 4. Additionally, Mack-Cali and Ironstate Development recently opened within Harborside the 69-story trendy rental tower known as Urby, the second-tallest building in the state. It has 762 apartments, and there are plans to build two more Urby towers, each with nearly 800 units.
Considering Urby is catered to a younger demographic (amenities include a rooftop pool, fitness center, and outdoor garden), it’s no surprise that the Harborside waterfront plan will be centered around its foodie offerings. In May, Lutze Biergarten opened along the promenade, with craft beers, games, and outdoor seating. And it was announced just last week that later this month Top Chef’s Leah Cohen will open Piggyback Bar at Harborside, an offshoot of her popular spot Pig and Khao in the East Village. And of course no new development is complete without a food hall; the current food court will be upgraded to a European-style food hall known as The Marketplace, which will showcase a rotating roster of local vendors and new tables and chairs on the esplanade.
Mack-Cali CEO Michael J. DeMarco said in a press statement, “Together with the addition of a new NY Waterway ferry terminal, serving the Hudson Yards and World Trade Center, coming this fall, the capital improvements will facilitate far greater connectivity at Harborside. In order to activate the waterfront and energize the neighborhood, it’s integral that we create a seamless experience for residents, workers, and daily visitors.”
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Neighborhoods : Jersey City